Betfair scale back in Russia

By Joe Lo
Online operator Betfair has stopped advertising and accepting new customers in Russia today, according to a company statement to affiliates.

A number of gambling websites were added to Russia's internet blacklist a fortnight ago, which seems to have prompted the firm’s decision, although they themselves weren’t on the list.

Betfair said that "recent developments within the Russian market" meant that they would be "ceasing acquiring customers in Russia as of Friday 11th April 2014”.

Existing revenue deals will be honoured and it appears as though no existing customers will be prevented from using Betfair. The Russian language links on the site will however be removed.

Betfair's approach to ‘grey’ markets has been more cautious than some of their rivals, with the company withdrawing from the likes of Germany, Cyprus and Greece to focus on more "sustainable" markets.

This has resulted in their poker revenues falling to the extent that they now account for only 2% of income.

PokerStars and 888poker have said they will attempt to continue to operate as normal in Russia.

Russia's register of blocked websites was established in 2012 and mainly includes political, drug-related and pornographic websites.
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